Gratitude * Sunday
Sunday’s heartfelt tradition.
A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful.
A list of gratitudes, our gratefulness feeds one another.
Quoted from Taryn Wilson
Joining the Gratitude Sunday Tradition at Wooly Moss Roots.
Early autumn night
strikes cold into bones after
warm summer day’s heat.
When I was a child we had one very small TV that was not on all day. We watched a little at night before bed after the work and play of the day was done. We did not have video games, and only a few board games. We had decks of cards, books, bicycles, a yard to play in, neighborhood kids to play with, and household chores. Our rooms were clean and tidy, not filled to the ceiling with toys, nor decorated like princess boudoirs or pirate ships.
Sometimes on dark rainy wintery days, we would be done with our cleaning, tired of the same old toys and books, the weather too inclement to venture out with the bicycle, and complain to Mom of being bored. Mom would set us two girls on the couch and give us a Sears or Montgomery Ward catalogue to play Wish Book with.
Oh, did we wish! One of us was allowed to pick first and the second had to choose something else, one pick per page. Occasionally we both wanted the same thing and we would have to agree it was ok to want the same thing. We looked at every page slowly and thoroughly so as not to miss some hidden treasure. Money was no object. We were wishing.
We picked out our homes and furnished them. Though this was past the day of mail-order houses, they showed homes in the advertisements and any picture was up for grabs.
We chose dining room sets and dinette sets.
We equipped our future kitchens and Mom’s current one with all the latest appliances.
We chose living room furniture.
After picking out the husband, usually from the underwear ads,
we picked out the husband’s office furniture.
We picked out bedrooms of our dreams and saw dreams we never knew existed.
We chose toys for our brothers and future sons.
We chose toys for ourselves and for our future daughters.
We picked fashionable clothes for our mother who made all her own and ours, likely getting ideas from the catalogues, because she always looked pulled together during the day.
We chose clothing for our brothers, our dad, our future children, and for ourselves.
We would spend many hours picking and choosing until finally we wouldn’t agree, or wouldn’t agree not to agree, on something and we would be done playing Wish Book as the competition of choosing became too intense.
I’m guessing this was one of the first places I saw Barbie Dolls. I have an old VHS tape with 1960s TV commercials about toys and on it is the commercial for the heavy cardboard Barbie doll house I still own. I have my original 1959 Barbie and the Barbie with the bendable legs and the three wigs. Wigs for all women were in vogue in the early 60s, easy to throw on after homemaking all day long then throwing the dinner party for the husband’s boss.
I remember buying my first Barbie doll. I don’t think Mom thought much of them but I remember wanting the doll passionately. She cost $1.98. Mom let me pick her out at the store one day, and made an agreement with me regarding saving my allowance to pay for her. She stayed in her box at the top of Mom’s closet while I paid a bit every week until I paid her off. I learned not to ask to look at her, which got me a lecture about sacrificing other expenses and paying her off so I could have her. I didn’t dare sneak a step stool and try to look as I knew I’d get a punishment worse than waiting. I would open Mom’s closet door and just stand there looking up at the top corner of the shelf I knew she was tucked into and plan for what I would do when she was mine.
All my Barbie doll clothes are hand made. No store bought outfits for my girls. Their clothing was made to fit by two of the finest seamstresses alive, Mom and my uncle’s wife, my dear aunt who had only boys. They made everyday outfits, exotic and fanciful dresses, pantsuits, miniatures of whatever was fashionable for Mom and Auntie to wear. I still have my Auntie and remind her how I treasure those hand made clothes every time I get to talk to her.
Did you every play Wish Book? I still do. I pretty much love the abundance of the stuff I have, and there are a few things I’d just like to have fixed around my house.
But if I could have my wishes, here’s what I’d wish:
Hardwood floors throughout my house with radiant heating underneath.
A second car would be a nice luxury for when hubster wants to go one way and I want to go another at the same time.
National health care for all people in the United States; we already pay enough taxes for it.
Free tuition up through the PhD level; we already pay enough taxes for it as well.
Capitalism that isn’t based on greed.
A living wage for all workers, enough to provide the roof, the food, the clothes.
An equal playing field between our federal government and its constituents.
Homes with solid roofs for all who need them.
Fresh foods for hungry people.
Clean air and clean water, the two things every person on this planet shares.
Farms restored to the efforts of a man and his family, not in the hands of some agri-business person/s.
People honoring each other because we are all people without regard to differences such as appearance, race, belief systems, size, gender, or power.
I have some pretty big wishes. I think that’s ok because if you can wish you can dream, and if you can dream you can plan, and if you can plan you can effect direct action which usually leads to a result. Sometimes the results do not happen in your lifetime. That’s ok too because you will have left this world a better place because of your wishes.
Color Watch – blooming attractions in my neighborhoods this week – little purple chrysanthemums with a dribble of yellow through them; love how the bright greens turn into equally bright yellows; scarlet red of a burning bush; random leaves with all the light and shades of green and orange and yellow.
Current View – Binged a little too much on Season Two of Orange Is The New Black, until I started having bad dreams. Watching Season Two, Part One of Atlantis, a fun and fanciful series about Greek myths with Jason as the hero, and Hercules as comic relief.
Currently Reading – Go Set a Watchman (2015, fiction) by Harper Lee; Excavation (2014, memoir) by Wendy Ortiz; Shakespeare’s Wife (2009, history) by Germaine Greer. Yes, concurrently.
This week I have been grateful for:
- Mild early autumn weather that feels like summer during the day and cools considerably at night.
- The earthy leafy smell of dying leaves and other vegetation.
- Warm air through open doors and windows.
- The abundance of nature’s colors this time of year and being able to see color.
- The ambient light sparkling through the leaves of my neighbor’s tree reflecting like diamonds on my kitchen and dining area.
- An older friend who has had health challenges since she was a tiny girl who graciously listened to my complaints about health care then shared what she felt when she realized many of her issues would never have a diagnosis. She thought if she knew what was wrong she could fix her body. She now concentrates on her best: sleeping the best she can, eating the best she can, walking the best she can, thinking the best she can, and doing it every day. Sometimes when you change the frame the picture doesn’t look so bad.
- Shawls and warm slippers.
- My October table.
- Is it October already?
- The funny crazy abundance of my life, I can’t read fast enough (there are so many books, news feeds, and blogs!), or watch videos fast enough (there are so many videos!), or write fast enough (there are so many words!), because there are so many other lovely things to do keeping a home, a job, and a family tidyish and together.
- Learning new things: venturing into the land of the slow cooker which I haven’t used before.
- Knowing some seriously beautiful women born in October.
Hoping you have a lovely week.
Namaste. Peace. Blessings.
Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch